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Istanbul is an amazing city with breathtaking culture, which is located on two continents and conditionally separates Europe and Asia. There are so many mosques palaces, museums, so it is quite difficult to see everything during one or a couple of days. Thus, we have prepared the list of top 10 places to visit, if you suddenly appeared in Istanbul for a weekend.
Unfortunately, even with a strong desire, we did not succeed to put all the pictures in one post. But the most spectacular ones to your attention…
#1. Aya Sofya
Aya Sofya is famous building, established by the Byzantine Emperor Julian in the sixth century. It was the statement of his wealth and power. Primarily it was a church, but it was later converted into the mosque. Nowadays, Aya Sofya is one of the finest museums with beautiful gallery and tombs of famous Osman sultans and their sons.
#2. Blue Mosque
This mosque was built by Sultan Ahmet Camii at the beginning of seventeenth century, as a gift to his capital. It was a sensation of that times, and it remains one of the most visited mosques in the world. Blue Mosque go its name due to the decoration of thousands of Iznik tiles.
#3. Basilica Cistern
Basilica Cistern is one of fascinating tourist attractions in Istanbul, as it features 336 columns, located in 12 rows. The project was started by Constantine the Great but finished only by Emperor Julian. The material for Basilica Cistern was taken from former classical buildings so that there are a lot of beautiful curves on the columns.
This is ancient building, which was the center of Byzantine life. Hippodrome was started by Septimius Severus in far AD 200, and finished by Constantine the Great more than 100 years later. Nowadays, there is only a small part left from the famous Hippodrome. Still, you can enjoy amazing gallery wall and a beautiful fountain.
#5. Istanbul Archeology Museum
Istanbul Archeology Museum gathers the most interesting and beautiful artifacts, related to the history of Turkey. You can lean about the ancient Byzantium, Osman Imperia, and modern Turkey due to them. The museum consists of 3 sections: The Museum of Ancient Orient, Archeology Museum, and Tiled Pavilion of Mehmet the Conqueror.
#6. Grand Bazaar
Travelling to other countries is not only about sightseeing, but also about shopping, and Grand Bazaar is the best place for that in Istanbul. This place is considered to be the first shopping mall in the world. It is a covered market with 12 gates, and you can find anything connected to Turkish culture there.
#7. Dolmabahçe Palace
This palace shows the influence of the European Culture on Osman Empire. It was built in 19th century by Sultan Abdülmecid I, and it became the main residence of sultans. This palace mixes a lot of architectural movement popular in Europe at that time.
#8. Süleymaniye Mosque
This is one of the most remarkable mosques in Istanbul. It was built between 1549 and 1575 for Süleyman the Magnificent. It features the unity of design and beautiful 53-meter-high dom.
#9. Chora Church
Chora means “church”. It is located right outside the old Constantinople’s walls. The original church was built in the 5th century, but tourists have an opportunity to enjoy the reconstruction of the building, made for the 6th time. Nowadays, this is a museum with unique frescoes and mosaics.
#10. Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts
It is an excellent museum for all admirers of the Islamic arts. You can find here the best carpet collection, with exponents from Turkey, Iran and some other countries. What is more, you have amazing opportunity to buy one of the carpets.